Congressman John Olver to Retire in 2012
Congressman John Olver (D- Amherst), who has served 11 terms in the US House of Representatives, announced plans this week to retire at the end of the current session. Cong. Olver’s departure will significantly impact state lawmakers’ decisions on how to redraw the Commonwealth’s 10 Congressional districts into 9. Until now, the redistricting committee has been operating on assertions from all 10 members of the state’s U.S. House delegation that they will run for reelection next year. Massachusetts will lose one seat due to population shifts nationwide.
Alan Khazei Drops Out of Senate Race
Alan Khazei, the co-founder of City Year, announced this week that he was officially dropping out of the U.S. Senate Democratic primary race. Consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, State Representative Thomas Conroy (D- Wayland), immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco, Boston attorney Jim King and engineer Herb Robinson are the remaining candidates for the Democratic Primary.
House and Senate Plan Tuesday Redistricting Debate
The House Speaker announced that debate on proposed House and Senate districts, which were released last week by the Redistricting Committee, will begin on Tuesday. The House adopted an order that sets a deadline of today at 5 p.m. for legislators to submit amendments to the proposed maps. The order stipulates that any amendment altering the construction of a House district must remain within plus or minus 5 percent of the ideal district size of 40,923. The order also indicates that House leadership will dispense with amendments by packaging proposals into consolidated amendments, a process that features debate behind the scenes on amendments and presentation of a single consensus. The Senate will also start debate on proposed Senate district maps on Tuesday, with amendments due by Monday at noon.
MassINC Poll Gauges Outlook of Massachusetts Residents
A poll released by centrist think tank MassINC shows that Massachusetts residents are split over whether the state is on the right or wrong track and remain pessimistic about the economy. The poll, which interviewed 500 residents, found that 47 percent of respondents said they were worse off financially today than a year ago, with 27 percent saying they were in about the same situation and 25 percent saying they are better off today. 54 percent said they believe they will be in the same financial shape in the future, 21 percent said they’ll be better off and 18 percent predicted they would be worse off. The poll also found the following favorable-unfavorable splits: Patrick, 51/36; Brown, 47/30; Kerry, 53/29; Warren, 32/14; and Tea Party, 28/42. Brown’s favorable number was down 10 points from a September 2010 poll and Patrick’s favorable number was up 9 points over that same period.
Governor Patrick Signs Supplemental Budget
On Thursday Gov. Patrick signed a supplemental budget allocating the $460 million in surplus funds that remained when Fiscal Year 2011 ended on July 1. The bill deposits $350 million into the state’s rainy day fund, bringing the current balance to almost $1.4 billion, appropriates $65 million in local aid for cities and towns and $39 million for infrastructure projects.
John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA
MA Chapter of American Institute of Architects
The Architects Building
52 Broad Street, Boston MA 02109-4301